A few weeks ago I was out on a dog walk and managed to trip over and land flat on my face! When the initial shock had started to subside, the pain kicked in. I ended up having to go to the hospital and having wound closure strips on my forehead along with a number of industrial sized plasters on my knees and hands. Now, you may be wondering how this is going to link to gratitude! I certainly didn’t feel any for quite a while. I felt in constant pain, was shook up and scared with fear initially and generally felt very sorry for myself! I was told by a nurse that I wasn’t able to wash my hair or get my face wet at all for 7 days. This was very difficult and resulted in using dry shampoo, face wipes and having very challenging showers. Then the scars on my face really started to appear. I did get quite a few shocked looks from people I passed!
It was really from when that first week had passed that I started to notice how grateful I was for various things that we all do so often without even noticing. That first time I could wash my hair was amazing! I felt even more gratitude for when I could do this myself in the shower a few weeks later. Even almost a month on now I feel very grateful to not be taking constant painkillers and for being able to wash my face!
As I started to build up my confidence and go out for a gentle walk again I used gratitude to alleviate some fear I had (there was no option not to go, dogs needed walking!). So a few days after the fall when I went on my first walk I purposely went back to the same place. I tried to practice gratitude by noticing that I could walk, noticing what didn’t hurt like feeling the breeze on my face, feeling the sun on my hands, looking at the colours of the trees, listening to birds chirping away and smelling flowers. Being out in nature gave me lots of things to feel grateful for. And of course this meant I was a lot more mindful of my senses and my walks eventually returned back to being my daily informal mindfulness practice 😊